If you are looking for highly technical breakdowns, this is not it. Think more Scott Kelby style in the “Digital Photography: How to make your photos look like the pros’!” books. You will learn about the best Canon ef-s lens (in my opinion) and a life lesson.

This post is broken up into sections.

Scroll down for the intro, my personal story, and inexpensive choice go-to lens

Click here for different lens options and short reasons why I suggest them

Or, skip right to the dog photo here

Life is filled with so many options it can be overwhelming.

The solution: reduce variables.

Many of you probably considered a few different outfits before settling on what you are wearing now, and it took longer than you’d like. Some days you end up uncomfortable with your choice and wish you had something basic to fall back on instead. The easiest way to avoid being unsatisfied is to follow the solution of influencers like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, who chose the same outfit every day. This is the art of reducing variables.

To bring this philosophy from the theoretical to the practical, let’s talk photography. I try to reduce as many variables as possible. When planning a photo shoot in the woods, for instance, I usually have a camera hiking backpack filled with a camera body, three lenses, a flash, tripod, and more.

Packed Bag Vs Best Canon Lens EF-S 24mm
Photo courtesy of Nick Kiefer

However, when I am burned out on photos or just going for a quick stroll, all of this equipment only makes capturing a moment harder. The backpack itself and all of the options it makes available can be a burden, so on days when I’m low on motivation, I leave most of it behind and just grab my crop sensor Canon 70D and one prime lens…the 24mm. DON’T JUMP DOWN MY THROAT JUST YET ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE FUJI! I will get to that.

Photos of Mike Forgie courtesy of Nick Kiefer

Why do I like the 24mm? It is a nice pancake width, so it won’t get in the way. When using a crop sensor, this lens is actually shooting at about 38mm, This makes it a workable, multipurpose width for portraits, landscape, vlogging, and more. At only $100-150 (I buy the cheaper refurbished), I can afford to mess around with one while hiking or in the rain. Plus, it takes banging photos! Seriously, the price and quality are perfect if you are just starting out, or even the advanced minimalist (it’s the photographer, not the gear, right? …Well, kind of). Need more proof this lens is awesome? Check out the photo of Honeysuckle Vermont below.

Honeysuckle Vermont Canon EF-S Lens 24mm

The hidden secret of this lens: you will develop a great eye for composition. The restriction to only 24mm means you can’t zoom, so you quickly learn to compensate with the framing of the photo. You will become increasingly accurate in judging how far you should be from subjects before you even lift the camera.

Eva for Evil Paradise Canan ef-s lens 24mm

Are there protests out there? Are you still up in arms about how there are superior lenses available? Annoyed I haven’t mentioned better cameras, like the Fuji X100t or Sony RX100? Sure, those are great options- but significantly more expensive! Those cameras will also become obsolete more quickly than a dslr lens. I do own a Fuji X10, which is my current “walk around” camera. However, I got this after I had the 24mm setup for a while, and when I had extra money. It is a great camera, but not all of us need multiple cameras (Okay, of course we do. We just don’t NEED need them. This article is meant to help those who might otherwise feel priced out of fully enjoying their hobby)!

I’ve taken landscape, portraits, and street photography with this little lens, and it has been a dream. I am not trying to say it is better quality than a prime L series 35mm, but the price and deliverables are great- especially if you are just starting out.

Want yet more proof? Check out this awesome article:

Landscape with 24mm Canon EF-S Lens

Ok, you might be thinking about what other options you can choose from. Here comes the FAQ part of this article. Make sure you read the exact question being asked! Many are similar, but with slight variations.

I’ve searched the internet and these are the common inquiries:

Low-cost zoom like the 18-55mm if you only need one lens. 24mm or 50mm if you want to completely reduce variables. 50mm is better in low light but is an 80mm on a crop sensor.

Remember, you can use ef-s only with crop sensor, so the 24mm or 50mm.

 Same as above OR buy used L series. Used lenses are your best friend.

Situation Specific

24mm or 50mm (remember you will develop an eye for composition with this prime), but street calls for portraits and some landscape. So, the 15-85mm, 18-55mm, or 18-135mm are good. The F3.5 makes them fair for shutter speed.

I’m going to say the same as above. Mainly because you will be shooting street and landscape.

15-85mm or 18-135mm. They will hit that 85mm mark which many photographers like in prime lenses. But, fashion can mean catwalk, lookbook, portrait, so try to narrow down which you will use it for.

Same as above for the same reason. I’d also throw out the nifty fifty 50mm because the f1.8 is nice.

I suggest deciding what you want to shoot, then read the other questions. I know it’s hard, but this will help you save money in the end.

Lowest f-stop, so you are looking at the 50mm f1.8, 24mm f2.8 is ok, and 85mm f1.8.

 When it is time to replace the kit lens, we should talk L series. Hit me up on Instagram.

Just starting out, put into consideration a wide angle capability and zoom. The 18-135mm is my pick because it covers a solid range if you are vlogging on the move.

Ssooo subjective! I’m thinking the 24mm or 50mm as a prime and the 18-135mm for your zoom.

APS-C Specific

The 10-18mm will give you a wider view, but the 15-85mm will give more options and better low light. The choice is up to you!

 The 10-18mm will give you about a 16mm equivalent. That is the best you can get in ef-s affordability from Canon (even the wide angle L series are about the same sharpness). However, there are third party brands that make wider, but I am not getting into them.

What are you zooming into? L series is best, but long affordable zoom would be the 55-250mm. If you are mistaking zoom for macro, the 35mm or 60mm f2.8 are solid.

Oh man oh man, this is tough! Be prepared to spend money, but the 24-70mm 2.8 II is the bee’s knees.

I will quote myself from another question: “One lens to rule them all? This is very, very subjective. Price to quality, I do believe the 24mm hits the sweet spot. If you want to pick my brain on what you should go for. Hit me up on Instagram and we will chat about your needs.”

That is it!!! Those are all the frequently asked questions that I could reasonably answer based on my experiences. If you have questions, suggestions, or just want to talk about it, feel free to leave specifics in the comments below or hit me up on Instagram!

Thank you so much for hanging with me through my subjectivity and the FAQ.